Are Retailers Ready For The Cloud?

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The cloud and mobile were among the hot topics on the CIO Retail Summit agenda in Scottsdale last week, with Phil Shelley, chief technology officer of Illinois-based Sears Holdings, kicking off the topic with the risks and rewards of public vs private Cloud Computing.

Among his many comments:

  • SAS is a real competitor to IT;
  • If using open source, cost benefits can be big (40%-70% less);
  • If you have a lot of credit card information, why would you want it to be outside (ie. in a public cloud)?
  • Private clouds are going to force retailers to compete;
  • 77% of companies will use internal cloud computing by the end of 2012.

Marci Troutman, CEO and founder of SiteMinis, Atlanta, Georgia, teamed up with Kevin Conway, global director of consumer brands, Savvis, Town & Country, Missouri, to discuss Mobile in the Cloud. They discussed working with such clients as Home Depot and Target; whether or not IT must be involved when launching campaigns; private vs public clouds and other details.

It’s a topic of which all retailers should at least be aware.

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